by Elizabeth Miles
Publication Date: August 30th 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Sometimes sorry isn't enough....It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed. In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay. Em and Chase have been chosen.|Goodreads|
I was lucky enough to receive this book as a RAK last month. I must say, before starting this book my expectations were rather high because the blurb created quite an intriguing story line. But I think my expectations were slightly too raised.
This story is more of a horror than a paranormal read, so if you are a paranormal fanatic and you're thinking this might be up your alley, you might want to give this one a miss. That's just my opinion. There are some scary, creepy bits throughout where I was looking over my shoulder after putting it down but it's not going to be nightmare inducing if that's what you're thinking.
I found the story very slow to start off with and it only got really interesting more than halfway through, when the plot takes a serious twist. There are two main characters and the perspective alternates between the two, each chapter. In the beginning I found the characters both to be a little under developed and very immature. The female character, Emily does redeem herself towards the end and I liked her best in the last half of the book, when she finally gets some sort of a backbone and she eventually realizes all is not what is seems.
The same cannot be said of the male character, Chase. He is a chauvinistic and shallow young man who cares only for how he is being perceived by his fellow classmates. I found him to be extremely naive and rather irritating, to be honest. I find it hard to believe that after all the things he is put through by one of the Furies, the mythical young women who haunt both characters, not once dose he suspect that she might not be who she says she is. All I can say is he got what he deserved.
Speaking of the Furies, they weren't as much of a presence throughout the book as I would have liked them to. They sort of wisp in out of each character's chapter but they weren't as threatening as I had expected them to be. There are three of them that supposedly work together but to me there was one leader and the other two were similar to her minions. They weren't the dominating force of fear-inducing, vengeful goddesses that I had expected.
I would have liked to have seen more of the secondary characters, J.D and Gabby as they were rather enjoyable to read about. J.D is a really endearing character and I am excited to see what happens to him in the next installment. I understand Gabby had to be out of the picture for the sake of the plot line but I hope we get to see more her as well, in the next book.
Some things I did enjoy about this book; I like the fact that it takes place in winter, the constant snow fall that's described creates a really good, eerie setting. While reading, I actually felt a couple of cold shivers while picturing some of the scenes. Also the fact that is takes place around Christmas time, when everyone is relaxed and enjoying the festivities the main characters are not feeling so 'jolly' themselves.
All in all not a particularly nail-biting read but not a bad one either. Maybe it's because I read the ARC copy but I would be ready to re read the finished product if I received one. Just to see how they compare. I would recommend this to readers who are into creepy, light horror stories, ones that won't leave you crying in the middle of the night wanting to run out and buy a night light. I would really want to get a copy of the next installment to see what happens to the characters and to explore the story more. But, would I be putting in a pre-order as soon as I'm finished writing this, sadly no. This one just wasn't my cup of tea.